In 1997 the average price of a house in the Folkestone & Hythe District was £61,484. Twenty one years later in 2018, the average price of house in the district has increased four and half times reaching £270,490.
With a five percent deposit (£13,500) meaning an outstanding payment of £256,500 at 4.2%, monthly repayments would be £1,382.39. Over the lifetime of the mortgage one would pay back £414,716.11. For many home ownership regardless of background is fast becoming a dream.
The interactive graph below shows how the housing market moved from boom to slump and to recovery. In the the Folkestone & Hythe District house prices were increasing strongly at the end of the 1990s and early noughties. Price increases show a 16.9% increase in 2002 from the previous year. In 2003 prices rose sharply again by 23.9%, before falling to a more moderate 8-12% until 2009 when house prices shrunk by -12.1% in 2009, caused by the banking crisis of 2008. It took until 2014 before house prices started experiencing growth again in the district. As of 2018 prices had cooled again because of uncertainty about Brexit.
Now it is normal for two people to get a mortgage and to get a mortgage for £256,500, both people would need to be earning around £30,000 each, according to which.co.uk. However, with the average pay £27,350 according to the office of national statistics, a growing percentage of the district are locked out from potential home ownership.
Now of course most people aren’t average, nor are prices. Many people have arrived from London after selling up and seeing the sense to live in one of the most wonderful places in the country, at prices they can afford. Many have retired here, but for the locals the chances of owning their own home, what with local wages as they are, is all but a pipe dream.
Home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach for young people. A survey by Santander found 70% of 18- to 34-year-olds now believe that home ownership is over for their generation. Our housing system has been allowed to degenerate to such an extent that secure and affordable housing is increasingly unavailable to working-class people, and in many places across the district middle-class people too.
When it comes to housing, class intersects with the intergenerational divide, as well as race and gender. Parents who have sufficient money to pay the deposit for their children can access homes to buy, leaving most of the rest of us trapped in the insecure, unaffordable private rented sector and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
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